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Work Related : First Self-published Travelogue

July 28, 2017

Heyyy, it's been more than 2 months since I resigned from being a full-time Chief Designer at a local start-ups ! I've been really productive and excited lately, I don't think I've ever been this productive (maybe I've been collecting ideas and content for long). 

New stuffs :
  • Book : Travelogue Melaka (is still in the checking-editing process by the publisher)
  • Enamel pin : 90s Game Nerrrd
  • Patch : Wandering Soul
  • Art prints : Moonrise Kingdom & Just Start
  • Self-published book : Eskapi - Travel Notes & Doodle !  


The stories from this book/zine is not really new stuffs la (dah basi), plus, I already uploaded everything in this blog (in writings). These were travel notes and doodles while I went to Surabaya & Singapore last year, so the contents were already there waiting to be inked & digitized. I actually took 10 months to make this :D Hah.

This isn't my first travelogue. I've been keeping visual travel notes since 5 years ago (if I'm not mistaken). So I have some from previous Eid, Beijing trip, homestay programs and stuffs. But they aren't worth my time to digitize (old lame stories, I cringed when I re-read it). 

Anyway, long story short, I want to share my travel notes & doodles as an illustrator and someone who loves to travel since young. I want to make each journey matters (I already wrote it, photographed it, now I illustrated it). So I digitized this and self-published it. Hope you'll like it 💖

You can pre-order yours now at : My Shop for RM 12 and even get a copy of "Things to Doodle" zine for free (if you pre-order it before the 3rd of Aug). 

The estimated delivery time is : Mid August (they are currently in printing process) 

Who is this book for ? 
  • People who love to travel, this is a fun + easy book to read about my short experience in Bromo & Singapore. 
  • People who love doodles & scribbles in book, this is one example of how to turn your experience into something physical, a different way to share with the world. 
  • People who love visual journals/visual travelogues, here is a sample from someone who loves to doodle and to record things in writing. 
  • Anyone who would appreciate the work of a local illustrator ! 

About this book : 

  • Size: A5 (15 x 21cm) 
  • Printing info: Printed on 210 gsm gloss laminate cover, 128 gsm art paper content 
  • Pages: 22 printed pages (24 pages in total) 
  • Language: English + Minor Malay Printed in Malaysia
  • Self-published (no local publisher or editor or distributor) :F
  • All rights reserved to the owner.


Upcoming travel zine : Osaka + Kyoto 

The difference between last year's travel note and this year's travel note : the dedication and effort. In Japan, I really pushed myself to jot down something every day so I won't forget all the stuffs that happened. I also kept little stuffs (tickets, passes, stamps) to be added in the travel journal. I kept track of the foods I ate, and where I ate it (so people can use it as a guide as well). Plus, this time, I did all these in coloured version (because I'm getting used with illustrating & colouring ). I think so far so good 😃

I'm excited for this one to be published next !

Event : Pre Comic Art Festival KL 2017

July 26, 2017

I'll be at booth A4 !

Dewan Bunga Raya Campbell Complex (Near Sogo),
Date : 29 & 30 July 2017


Work Related : New Enamel Pin & The Process

July 18, 2017

Sometimes I get overly excited and inspired, and when that happened, I create a lot of things. After the Uber project and several more little projects, I got some money to invest on new things. Things that I've been wanting to make but didn't have enough money.

This time, I decided to create an iron-on patch series and enamel pin.
Let me tell a detail story about how I ordered for these enamel pins first (because I love to share things that I wish other people would share with me T^T).


The process : The 90s GameBoy 
I actually used my old doodles from my sketch book. I searched for simple items that I drew, that have potential to be turned into patches/pins. So I found the doodles I made for the Malaysian Hobby Expo last year  :


The designing, vectoring & colouring :
  • I found a small doodle of game boy with my iconic sleeping face in my sketch book.
  • I wanted to turn it into an enamel pin for 90s game nerds (like me). Usually when I think about enamel pins or patches, I think about the message/label it stand for. 
  • So for this one, I decided to make one that says "90s game nerds". 
  • Then I turned the doodle into a vector using .Ai CC 
  • I picked the simplest purple gradient colour (that I currently like for my works) - because I don't have time to experiment on different styles at that time.
  • I'm not sure whether the stroke thickness would be okay, so I just followed my instinct. 
  • I didn't even re-check the colour using Pantone code

The supplier :
  • I searched for an agent through Alibaba (giving a list of request), had a short interview with more than 10 people in one day and I found one that I like !
  • I asked her some important stuffs that I needed to know (like what's the policy, what is the process, the rights, option of materials, etc). 
  • Extra thought : I was worried of being scammed because I have this wild thoughts about business people from mainland of China (like they would do anything for money - and probably not being honest, scams, etc). But I remember those things that I learned in high-school history, about how China man would travel across the sea for business, it is something noble and they would do anything to have a good business relationship with others. I also remember Alibaba's founder, Jack Ma, when he talked about his rules of success (watch here) and seeing how much he wanted to create Alibaba so the whole world can reach businesses in China - I think those were the reasons why I decided to try the website.
  • After I chose the agent, I gave specific requests on things that I wanted on my product.
  • She then gave me a quotation and asked me to prepare the file. 
  • Proceed with the order, I make half of the payment through Paypal and waited.
  • Almost 3 weeks later, I received an email saying that my products are good to go and need to pay the remaining balance.
  • After I make a full payment, she then posted the parcel using DHL and the item arrive after 3 days!
This is how it looked when it first arrived (Individually packed)

The material :
  • I wanted a black stroke instead of the normal silver/gold. So I chose a black nickel plating, most of local companies don't really offer this option. 
  • I also requested for a backstamp of my name 'azreenchan' ♥ because it looks cool (*extra $$$). I wasn't sure how small I should make while designing because enamel pins are small. I was worried about designing it too small until the machine can't get the details in its mold. I didn't see any problems !  
  • I also chose a butterfly clutch because my pins are small.
  • I chose hard enamel pin because I wanted the smooth shiny surface.
  • I love the size and heaviness. 

The packaging & marketing pictures :
  • And because I really like the result, I think I want to make other enamel pins later (when I got other small investment) 
  • I designed the packaging (back paper) in the most generic way. So I can still use it for other enamel pin designs in the future and just use the same back paper. I didn't have any idea to design as fun as my wandering soul patch that I designed before this because by then, I was draining. I've been using too much of my creative juice that month.
  • I also designed some images for marketing purpose (because it is fun).


Other things :
  • How much did it costed ? Although I'm quiet transparent with most of the stuffs, I'm not comfortable in telling the world how much I spent for this, so I choose not to answer. But roughly, you need to take into account : the cost of each pin, the molding fees, the extra requirement fees, and the international DHL fast-shipping. Everything in USD, so yes, it is not cheap for us Malaysian. But it is surely quite cheap for others with higher money rate. 
  • How much I love it ? Words can't express how grateful I am in trusting my instinct. I really love the outcome, the detailing and the quality. ♥♥♥
  • And I am super thankful for this chance of having fun days at home creating stuffs that I love. I hope every creative soul will eventually find their true passion and pursue their dreams (even how scary and risky it might look, your days will be packed with so much satisfaction).

You can order my limited edition enamel pin :
( here - if you are local Malaysian )  and ( here - if you are living outside of Malaysia ).

For my Patreons, thank you for your support & love.  

Little Story 224 : I bought a new Black Shoe

July 17, 2017

Exactly two years ago I wrote about replacing my brown Converse to a new Navy classic one (read here). I remember I bought it before I went to Tokyo for the first time with Af, it travelled to Indonesia, Singapore with us soon after and even bring it to Japan again this year. It walked with me to places, and I love them to bits. It is not an ideal shoes for travelling, but I like it.

But my Converse is now old and torn, got holes on both sides and also the heels (rainy days were bad days). So I've been making a mental note to search for a new shoes. Buying new pair of shoes is always a big event for me, a milestone (because it is once in several years kind of thing, so I will usually remember about each shoes).
Note : I am the kind of person who owns one thing at a time. That means 1 pair of slipper, 1 pair of girly shoes (for kenduri), 1 pair of running shoes and 1 pair of casual/walking shoes. So I don't go buy extra shoes because I feel like it, I will use the one that I own until lunyai, donate it and buy a new one. 
The time has come for me to buy one. So when we went to Nu Sentral last Friday, I stopped by at Al-Ikhsan. I remember I have this one black shoe that I liked several months back. I specifically wanted to find a well-designed aesthetically beautiful pair of shoes (not too big, not too sporty, not colourful - just black). I wanted it cushioned and breathable (suitable for a long walk). 

So I found the same shoes that I liked, but now discounted (RM 360 to RM 259) - yes, it is still expensive for me but I've been coming back to this shoes several times over the year now. So I decided to buy it. :F A little present for me, for finishing the Uber project.

Extra note : Plus, I always got confuse over the sport shoes brand (because there are so many of them), so I don't quite remember the brand until I loudly repeated the word "Ok, this is Nike, Nike, Nike" not Adidas after I bought it. 

Why I didn't buy another Converse tho? :
I think I've been using Converse for 6 years now. It is the nicest casual shoes to wear when you go anywhere near. I really like my shoes. BUT, not when you do heavy walking i.e when you are traveling and you have to walk over 10km in one day. You will need to soak your feet in iced water by the end of the day, because your feet will badly sore (there is no cushion in classic Converse). 

That is why I searched for for a cushioned shoe that I can use to travel, but I don't like colourful sport shoes, so I opted for a full black sport shoe. The one that won't shout for attention. Just black, so it will blend in with my jeans and my invisibility. If that make any sense at alllll.

So that is how and why I bought a new pair of shoes ! :D

Event : From Pen to Paper 5.0

Preparation :
I joined another event several weekends ago (I applied for 2 events in July). The application was awhile back, so I was almost fully prepared for it. I printed and cut sticker packs as much as I can wherever, whenever I was free. I think I cut thousands and thousands over the year, I became so good in cutting stickers (I'm a pro !). I also printed several artprints and small greeting cards (to replace the ones that had been destroyed by the small flood in my room several months back). And ordered several new stuffs ! This time, I was fully prepared with so many stuffs.

Things I collected from the event.

Event day :
We went to Battery Acid Club before for Etsy Made Local 2016 , so it was a familiar place and familiar faces (I remember the owners and several booths participants). I think there were only 1-2 booths owned by Malay on that day, everyone else were Chinese. It is common view (guys, where are independent businesses own by Malays nowadays? I hardly see you guys in creative events) :F

We opened our booth, outside (because last time we attracted the crowd outside of the cafe) but it was really hot and we had to wait in the sun later for several hours. The worst was around 3-5pm. Challenging day.

The good :
  • The event only lasted for 7 hours (11am - 6pm), so it wasn't a super long day.
  • I met several familiar faces (so they do remember me ❤ )
  • The sales was goooooood. One of the highest sales I ever got in an event.
  • I saw several potential local illustrator !
  • Journaling station with lotttts of free stuffs to use.
The bad :
  • It was so hot later that afternoon (we did really stand under the sun for several hours)
  • No 'surau', you need to walk a bit to reach the nearest surau in the area.
Outcome :
Sales : RM 757
  • Booth rent : RM 80 (shared with Aja, so it became RM 40 per person)
  • Lunches & Dinner : RM 15+ (Tapau Meggi Goreng from the mamak for lunch, free coffee from Battery Acid Club)
  • Gas & Toll : RM 10+
The best sales so far ! 
Mostly by selling sticker packs. Thank you random strangers 
For letting me create all the things that I love to make and support me all the way. I'll keep making new things and experiment, so you'll have reasons to keep supporting me !

Images from Af's video snippets (I didn't have time to take any photos !) :


Anyway, the money I spent on making new things (like the patches, enamel pins, lots of printing new stuffs and paying for future events) were around that figure or even more, so you guys actually helped me making new stuffs and restocking. And I really appreciate this support  

Here is the video that Af compiled & edited for me :

See you guys again soon,
Next event : Comic Art Festival Kuala Lumpur
in Dewan Bunga Raya in Campbell Complex, KL on the 29th & 30th July 2017.

Work Related : Busy June + Eid Season

July 05, 2017

I just compiled these video snippets for the whole June yesterday.
If you follow my Patreon page, you should already know how busy I was in June T^T I was focusing on my Melaka Travelogue project that I was supposed to submit before Eid (but I failed). There are another 10 pages to go as I am typing now. 

Anyway, I rested for 2 weeks since that first week of Raya. We went back to Pekan on Raya and we went to Kuantan again the next weekend for my cousin's wedding. We stopped by at Pantai Air Leleh near our village and there, I felt so calm, that peacefulness that I forgot exists. Because I've been working so hard and stressed out in this 2 months, I forgot there is this-kind of feeling. It was crazy and exhausting T^T We need more of this, peaceful nature and less heat (dear God, the weather nowadays is challenging).


In this video :
  • My Etsy stuffs packing session
  • CNY Angpow for reference (Melaka travelogue) 
  • First iftar outside (instead of at home almost everyday) at Sushi Zanmai
  • Melaka Travelogue update : 41/100 page
  • My packing station (postcard used for thanking each customer, tapes, stamp & sticker collections for personalised packages)
  • Frannerd's parcel that I ordered 3 weeks before from Hasting. I bought 3 of her zines (1 on her doodles + 2 of her travel zines) + free postcard
  • The evening when we just arrived at Pekan, we stopped by at Pantai Air Leleh (the nearest beach from my village). It was clean and beautiful and serene. 
  • Umang-umang !
  • Little baby crabs making holes.
  • Starfish crawling and making doodle on sand.
  • We hunted for a sunrise on the 2nd day of Eid. We woke up at 6am, washed our face and did Subuh prayer, and headed to Pantai Air Leleh to hunt for a morning sunrise. We got that right !
  • A lot of starfishes in the morning, I saw more than 7 :D
  • Around 130k steps of walking and jogging sessions all around.
  • Food fiesta on the 2nd day of Eid at my aunt's open house.
  • Clear stamps repacking for this Saturday's event at Battery Acid Club.
  • Short stop for Mango Cheese Cake at Kula Cake by Lila Wadi in Kuantan before we headed back to KL
  • Page 76/100 from my Melaka Travelogue and Awan !
  • Baby-faced looking Awan thanking youuuu, my Patrons.


Small shout-out about my Patreon :
  • There are also free posts for any of my Patreon followers without any pledges. 
  • I post random videos, podcast and updates for Patreon pledges as well. If you are interested in following my work progress or just simply want to support an independent local artist, you can do so and I am forever thankful.
  • I'll be posting more things on my current workloads and projects and items that I'm making and plans for the future as an independent illustrator !